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Page 2 CONTACT Listens Launches 3

Volunteer of the Month


Bullycide: Cyberbullying Epidemic


sync. Leadership Program


Suicide: An Act of Communication


Speaker Series- Dr. Cooper

Making June 2010

Breaking Point To Turning Point

Filling the Gap:

Supporting Texas Mental Health

By: Amy Nelson

Executive Administrative Assistant

States are facing record budget shortfalls in 2010 and with a budget deficit well over one billion dollars, Texas is no exception. No one denies that hard choices must be made and programs, expanded under economic boom times, cut back. Unfortunately, it seems that mental health care may be headed for the chopping block. Historically, Texas has suffered from an underfunded, overburdened mental health system. In 2006, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a study which ranked Texas 50th in per capita spending on mental health care. Texas spends only $34.57 per person on mental health care; well below the national average of $103.53.

for treatment. Additionally, reports of individuals being dropped from the program for missing an appointment, even in cases of emergencies, have become common. Though Texas has recently infused the mental health system with $55 million in emergency funds, this is only a drop in the bucket for a state of over 24 million people. Like most health care, mental health care can be prohibitively expensive. According to the National Mental Health Information Center, “The high cost of health care makes treatment out of reach for many people. Those who do not have health insurance — more than 38 million Americans — often avoid treatment entirely, because costs can be staggering.” Many insurance plans offer only limited or no coverage for mental health care.

According to the Austin-American Statesman, in 2003 Texas legislators set out to revamp the mental health system by standardizing care and “triaging” treatment, focusing on those With so many individuals unable to access with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Individuals suffering from different, but care, nonprofits are being forced to fill the gaps. In 2009 equally severe illnesses, such as post traumatic stress alone, CONTACT advised nearly 6,000 individuals on mental illness concerns. We continue to strive to fill a disorder were often denied treatment. gap which is only expanding. These measures have also caused waiting lists to skyrocket, with nearly 7,000 individuals currently waiting

Upcoming Events


CONTACT Listens Launches CONTACT Listens, an innovative fundraising and awareness campaign, has launched at!

Did You Know You Can: • Visit • Set up a personalized advocacy page in just one minute • Link your page to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) • Set a fund raising goal as little as $100 • Support CONTACT with a donation as small as $10

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Everyone can get involved with CONTACT Listens. This is a great opportunity to become an advocate for CONTACT by creating a personalized page, setting a fundraising goal and encouraging others to donate to your cause. Supporting CONTACT has never been easier, as we are deploying new technology to help you reach out to friends, family and your social network. The first $4,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to generous donations from Stacye and Mike McIntyre, CONTACT Connection and Robert Pollock. We need your help to reach our goals of: • Raising $ 20,000 to help support our essential Crisis Help Line program • Spreading awareness of CONTACT’s vital services to the community • Utilizing social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Stumble, etc) to share the CONTACT story You can help us by: • Setting up a CONTACT Advocacy page. Visit to signup and create a personalized page. You can also allow others to read about how their donation will help, learn more about CONTACT, and make a gift. When one of your friends makes a donation on your personalized page, you will receive an e-mail notice of their contribution. It is so easy! Sign-up now. • Spread the Word. Help raise awareness of the CONTACT Listens campaign. Email friends, post updates about CONTACT Listens on Facebook, Twitter and just talk about CONTACT Listens. • Forward CONTACT Listens details to 10 of your friends today!


May August November February May August Jun June September December March June September October January April July October January Ju vember February May August November February Ma uly March June September December March A April July October January April July Octob May August November February June August Decem

Volunteer of the Month

Virginia Clarke is someone who is familiar with tragedy. Widowed twice, in March 2006 Virginia also lost her sister after her three year battle with breast cancer. While others might have been defeated by these loses, it only made Virginia want to help others more. She began reaching out. “I was searching for somewhere with substance to volunteer for,” says Virginia, “and I have found that with CONTACT.” She has been volunteering at CONTACT since 2007.

to come to their own resolutions and provides both ownership and empowerment. However, listening by itself is powerful tool. When a caller is “hurting and in crisis,” says Virginia “and he knows I’m listening and I care, I’m aware of his mood changing. When he sincerely thanks me for taking the time to hear him, it’s very rewarding.” Listening is powerful away from the crisis lines as well. In 2007 Virginia’s brother was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of Merkel cell cancer. Virginia talked every day with her brother about the wonderful life they had. When he died on January 6, 2008, Virginia says she “promised him his legacy would be a fund established with Dr. Anderson for research.” She is also helping with the crisis line funding.

“I was searching for somewhere with substance to volunteer for and I have found that with CONTACT.”

Virginia says the most rewarding part of volunteering at CONTACT is the knowledge that, at the end of the day, she has helped someone. She also credits Thomas Hutter, director of volunteer services, and Marco Galvan, call center manager, as a huge influence on her. “CONTACT is a great organization and it has given me such joy to volunteer here,” says Virginia.

For Virginia, like many of our volunteers, the most challenging part of volunteering on the crisis line is not counseling. CONTACT uses an active listening model. Referrals may be offered but volunteers refrain from pushing a specific course of action. This leads callers

Virginia has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for 100 hours or more of service in a year four times. Outside of CONTACT, Virginia has also served on Ursuline’s board of governors and on the Dallas Athletic Country Club’s board of directors, and volunteered with Cub Scouts and Camp Fire Girls. She enjoys traveling and has been to no less than 28 countries and five continents. History is Virginia’s passion and she hopes to eventually move to her family’s farm in historic King William County, Virginia.

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Bullycide: Cyberbullying Epidemic

By: Missy Wall, M.Div., MSW Director, Teen CONTACT Program

March and April became known as the cyberbullying and bullycides months due to the amount of media exposure about teens bullying other teens online and at school, which resulted for many in death. As a response to the media and local bullycide tragedies, the Teen CONTACT Program and Bully Suicide Project joined together to create a Bullying Coalition. We invited others agencies and coalitions, such as Dallas ISD, Youth First Texas, and I AM H.E.R.E Coalition, to help build a solid defense and support for teenagers and their families as they battle online and school yard bullying. The goal is to raise the social awareness against bullying, cyberbullying and to equip parents, schools and students to stop all sorts of violence and harassment. The Bullying Coalition will also promote advocacy for stricter and stronger laws on bullying, bullycide, and cyberbullying in the state of Texas. According to, Texas has a grade of a “C-” for bullying which is well below the organization’s recommended grade.

4. Know your child’s password to his or her social networking sites and check it regularly. 5. Say “No” to Formspring and other applications that allow anonymous posting. Remind your kids that the internet is a worldwide billboard and they should never post anything that they would not want a college recruiter or future employer to see. 6. Know the terms and conditions of the websites and social media your kids regularly use, e.g., MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. Report any attacks immediately as these sites will shut down perpetrators’ accounts if they know individuals are being harassed. 7. Know the terms and conditions of your cell phone provider and monitor your child’s text and data usage. If they abuse it, discontinue service. 8. Know the laws in your state as they relate to cyberbullying and your local school district’s policy on bullying and cyberbullying. (

After a few meetings, the committee for the Bullying Coalition brainstormed on ten proactive guidelines for parents as they monitor and support their children online and at school. The final ten guidelines are listed below:

9. Talk to your kids about the dangers of sharing personal information on their social media sites. The more information available, the more your child can become a victim or a potential predator.

1. Set Google or Bing alerts for your child’s name; that way you will know immediately what is being said about him or her by others. 2. Tell your kids that technology is a privilege, not a right. If they do not use it ethically, there are consequences. 3. Put your computer in a viewable public place. Check the history regularly to see what sites your child is visiting.

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10. Treat others the way you want others to treat you. Report abuse to a parent or trusted adult. For more information on this subject: • • •

Bully Suicide Teen CONTACT at

Teens Teens Teens Teens Tee Teens Teens Teens Teens Te Teens Teen Teens Teens Teens Teens Tee Teens Teens sync. 2010 “Stand Up, Speak Out!” Teens Teens Te Teens Teen The 2010 sync. leadership program’s theme is “STAND UP, SPEAK OUT”. We want to educate our sync. Teens Teens students about, among other topics, cyberbullying, bullycide, violence in relationships, and phone safety. Teens Teens Te We want these students to be ambassadors for the Teen CONTACT program by standing up for what they Teens Teen believe and speaking out about these topics. Teens Teens T We hope to have time every day to allow students to think creatively about bullying, dating violence, Teens Tee suicide, healthy friendships, and career and high school plans. Each small group will be divided according to how students best express themselves: art, rap, poetry, acting, singing, reading, photography, and/or video. We hope to use these student projects to help create awareness for these topics as well as for our Teen CONTACT program at CONTACT. Date:

Teens Teens Teens Teens T The 2 Annual sync. summer leadership program is just around the corner. Teens Tee Teens Teens  We kick off Monday, June 7, with a parent orientation meeting from 5:30-7:30 PM. Teens Te  The high school week (*9-12 grade students only, 2009-2010 school year status) starts: Teens Teens Tee Teens Teens Teens  Tuesday, June 8 – Friday, June 11; 12:00-4:30 PM each day. Teens Teens Te  The following week will focus on middle school students (*7-8 grade students only, 2009-2010 Teens Teens Teen school year status). Teens Teens Teens Teens Te  Monday, June 14- Thursday, June 17; 12:00-4:30 PM. Teens Teens Teen  High school students who participate in the program will have the opportunity to volunteerTeens Teens TeensTeens Teens Tee as mentors during the middle school week. Teens Teens  We will wrap up with a family celebration, Friday, June 18, from 5:30-8:00 PM. TeensTeens Tee TeensTeens Teens Teens  Both high school and middle school groups and your families! Teens Te Location: Teens Teen Teens Life in Deep Ellum (Mokah Coffee Bar) 2803 Taylor St. Dallas, TX 75226 Teens Teens Teens Teens Tee Teens Teen Map: Teens Teens T Thank You TeensTeens Tee Teens T (go to left bottom corner of website) Maverick Capita Teens Teen Teens Teens Teens Tee nd


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April May


An Act of Communication Reprinted and Adapted from Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center Article

Our crisis line specialist volunteers are confronted with every manner of conflict, but one of the more intense will be the suicidal crisis. A suicide call has commonalities with all crises, and is explored in much the same way. The focus— suicidal ambivalence—is more obvious than the focus in many other calls, and the assessment of lethality and probability of attempt give you explicit areas for exploration that are unique to suicide calls. The central issue of suicide—death— arouses more fear, more confusion, and a stronger sense of responsibility, than does any other type of problem call. For this reason, we single it out for special attention. One fact that is easy to overlook is that suicide is an alternative, a way of coping, and is available to each of us every day. Most of us do not make a conscious decision each morning to continue to live, but the person in a suicidal crisis must do exactly that. Suicide as an alternative must be explored as an alternative, a decision that can be reached logically. A strong moralistic sense of responsibility often leads volunteers to explore living as THE ONLY alternative, ignoring death in the suicidal crisis. A desire to both live and die exists in a caller. This is the heart of suicidal ambivalence. Let us explore further our inability to accept death as an alternative one can pursue, and then we will see how anyone may arrive at such a crisis point in his life.

someone for help. Turn to one person and you may get moralizing—that to take one’s own life is to become subject to eternal damnation. Turn to a loved one and you receive a fear response and pleading—“Don’t do it, you have so much to live for!” Drop hints to others and you may find your messages ignored or rebuffed. Their message is clear in all cases—“It is not okay to kill yourself.” Also, “it is not okay to TALK about suicide.” Thus, even thinking about self-destruction must be wrong and to do so is a sign of weakness, which is exactly how you already see yourself. Your distorted perception of yourself has been confirmed by those closest to you, and you are logically left to believe that “nobody cares” and “nobody will miss me when I’m gone.” If someone stops you or responds to your clues, then someone cares and your faith is rekindled; if no response is received and you complete the suicide, your pain is gone and you are not around to know whether your perceptions were correct or not.

“Most importantly, the overwhelming majority of people contemplating suicide give clues about their intentions which often go unnoticed or ignored.”

Imagine for a moment that you are intensely depressed and have lost all motivation for continuing in your daily routine. For a fleeting moment you think, “it would be nice to go to sleep and not wake up tomorrow.” At first, you dismiss the idea, but as your depression continues, the thought persists, and the attractiveness of anything that would ease your pain becomes an all-consuming fantasy. You reach the point where you reason “the pain in my body is so intense that the only way to rid myself of it is to kill my body.” You may even rationalize that decision by observing that you are already emotionally “dead.” Your depression prohibits you from responding to others who are meaningful to you. Therefore, suicide IS a viable alternative because the desired goal—removal of pain—would be accomplished. Finally, you have approached the breaking point. You try to overcome your distorted perception in order to approach

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This scenario is very real and tells us a great deal about suicidal behavior. Most importantly, the overwhelming majority of people contemplating suicide give clues about their intentions which often go unnoticed or ignored. Secondly, the suicidal person can be helped because of his motivation to seek help, which is born of the intense life/death struggle that is the core of the suicidal crisis. Thirdly, the process one goes through to reach the point of despair is characterized by distorted perceptions and distorted logic, but to the person in crisis it is real. Lastly, the need to talk about suicide is critical because to discourage talking is to confirm the person’s “bad” feelings about himself. His subsequent anger and guilt may not find expression except through the suicidal act. Thus, crisis intervention can provide the non-judgmental atmosphere in which the aspects of a very intense crisis can be explored and resolved. As stated earlier, when suicidal clues are ignored or condemned, the suicidal gesture becomes both a statement of anguish, anger or despair and an attempt to eliminate those feelings. In emphasizing the communication aspect of suicide, we do not minimize the seriousness of anyone’s suicidal intent. People who verbalize suicidal intentions are choosing an alternative form of communication that they hope will reduce their pain. This constitutes the “cry for help” which allows us to intervene.

Run to Erase the Silence of Depression CONTACT is looking for runners to race the Dallas White Rock Marathon on December 5, 2010. We need your help to raise funds and spread awareness of CONTACT’s vitals programs and services.

Don’t Forget What The Doctor Said… CONTACT was proud to kick-off the 2010 Speaker Series: From Breaking Point to Turning Point, with feature speaker Dr. Kenneth Cooper in, Connecting the Dots: Physical and Mental Health. Dr. Kenneth Cooper not only proved to be proof of his teaching, but an inspirational and motivational presenter. The one hour lunch presentation held at the Cooper Guest Lodge on Tuesday, May 18 was truly an eye-opening experience on living longer and healthier! Special thanks to Dr. Kenneth Cooper and The Cooper Aerobics Center. Doctor’s Orders:

Be part of a marathon with a cause and join us as a runner, a volunteer, a corporate sponsor, or a corporate relay team! For more information contact Bob Munro at 972-233-0866 ext. 312 or


Take daily multivitamins containing 2,000 IU vitamin D

Or, a standalone 1,000 IU vitamin D tablet

Suggested daily Healthy Body Vitamin Pack, the pack is a canister of 30 individually wrapped packets of daily multivitamin and mineral supplement (containing 2,000 IU vitamin D) plus 2 advanced omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

2010 Speaker Series Sponsors PRESENTING Dr. Kenneth Cooper The Cooper Aerobics Center

Benaye Y. Rogers President

Deana Albrecht Director, Finance & Administration

SPONSORS CONTACT Connection CONTACT Presidents Club Carol and Jeff Heller The Hersh Foundation Laura J. Minafee Errika Flood-Moultrie Susan Odom

Thomas Hutter Director, Volunteer Services Bob Munro Director, Development Missy Wall, M.Div., MSW Director, Teen CONTACT Program Carol Casmus Grants & Development Associate Maria Espinosa Marketing & Public Relations Manager Marco Galvan Call Center Manager Alex Garcia Assistant Director, Teen CONTACT Program Lynda Linebarger Volunteer Training Coordinator

Help Us GROW While You Shop Tom Thumb, Kroger and Albertsons will all donate to CONTACT through their individual Neighbors Partner Programs. It is easy, free and a great way to raise additional funds for CONTACT. Tom Thumb Link CONTACT to your Tom Thumb Rewards card by completing the Good Neighbor form below. Return the card to CONTACT office or Tom Thumb Service Desk.

Kroger Present the below barcode the next time you shop along with your Kroger Plus card.


Albertsons Use the temporary scan card below the next time you shop. Contact Bob Munro at 972-2330866 for a permanent card. CONTACT HAS



Amy Nelson Executive Administrative Assistant

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P.O. Box 800742 Dallas, TX 75380-0742 From Breaking Point to Turning Point

Making CONTACT is published monthly for volunteers, board members and other supporters of CONTACT. Your efforts have enabled our agency to be the empowering link for Greater Dallas since 1967. Nearly 42,000 people reach out for our help each year.

2010 Telephone Volunteer Training Course Schedule Fall (September/October) Tuesday and Thursday Evenings 6:30 - 9:30 PM 9/14, 9/16, 9/21, 9/23, 9/28, 9/30, 10/ 5, 10/7, 10/ 12 If you know anyone who might be interested in volunteering, please have them contact us!

Layout and Design by: Amy Nelson CONTACT provides crisis prevention and resource services that are: • 24/7 • FREE • Confidential

Adult Help Line (972) 233-2233

Youth Help Line (972) 233-8336

Spanish Help Line 972-233-2428

Friday 6 - 10 pm Saturday 11 am - 3 pm

From Breaking Point to Turning Point

June 2010 Making CONTACT  

Making CONTACT is published monthly for volunteers, board members and other supporters of CONTACT. Your efforts have enabled our agency to...

June 2010 Making CONTACT  

Making CONTACT is published monthly for volunteers, board members and other supporters of CONTACT. Your efforts have enabled our agency to...